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Feds pursue mortgage fraud in NC

Posted July 10, 2013

— Federal authorities disclosed Wednesday criminal charges against a number of Triangle-area real estate professionals, attorneys and mortgage brokers in connection with various mortgage fraud investigations.

The U.S. Marshals Service has seized a number of foreclosed properties across the region as part of the investigations, and authorities said they continue to seek out possible victims of the alleged fraud.

"The American people need to be assured that their government is working to ensure integrity in the financial services and housing industries and that those involved in criminal activities that undermine that integrity will be held accountable,” Jon Rymer, inspector general for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said in a statement.

Mortgage broker Dexter Tirrell Jones, 42 of Raleigh, developer Ricky Lamont Congleton, 43, of Zebulon, closing attorney Phillip Graham Rose, 42 of Raleigh, developer Vincent Maldini, 46, of Seabright, N.J., developer Johnny Ray Peele, 43, of Wake Forest, Joseph Carl Hollis, 35, of Raleigh, developer Dwayne Thomas Hall, 49, of Wake Forest, and former real estate broker Treshell Mayo Herndon, 39, of Raleigh, have been charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire or mail fraud.

Authorities allege the group used phony purchases of properties through "straw buyers" to secure mortgage loan disbursements exceeding $20 million and $5 million in loan proceeds between 2003 and 2009. The group is accused of using the buyers' credit to obtain the loans in exchange for a kickback and a promise that rental income from the properties would pay the mortgages and the buyers would never pay a cent.

Losses on the properties, which fell into foreclosure when the housing market collapsed in 2008 and mortgage payments on the properties ceased, exceed $1 million, authorities said.

Rose, Jones, Congleton and Maldini have already pleaded guilty in the case and are awaiting sentencing, authorities said. The others are expected to appear in court in the coming weeks.

In a separate but similar scheme, real estate developers David Lewis Johnson, 39 of Cary, and Arthur Lee Barnes Jr., 46 of Rocky Mount, real estate agent Mark Tkac, 47, of Raleigh, former mortgage broker Mark Thomas Bowe, 56, of Jonesboro, Ga., and closing attorney Jeffery Scott Taggart, 48, of Winterville, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. Bowe also was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to federally insured financial institutions, while Taggart also was charged with filing a false income tax return.

Lilliana Delia Deiac, 43, of Jamaica, N.Y., was charged with making false statements to a federally insured financial institution and making false statements to the FBI.

Authorities allege that the group used straw buyers to purchase various properties that are now in default or foreclosure, resulting in millions of dollars in losses for lenders.

Taggart has been sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the scheme, while Johnson, Barnes and Tkac have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Cases against Bowe and Deiac are pending.

In a third investigation, former Raleigh developer James Thomas Webb, 52, of Miami, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and is expected to be sentenced next month.

Authorities said Webb carried out his fraudulent activities on investors in addition to financial institutions, convincing investors that he would use their money to purchase, renovate, and resell properties to first-time home buyers in various states, including North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. Sale documents were doctored, and Webb used much of the money to finance a lavish lifestyle for himself, authorities said.

Former closing attorney Amy Robinson, 35, of Rolesville, former real estate appraiser Jackie Gale Weaver, 55, of West Hamlin, W.Va., and former national appraisal instructor Larry Max McDaniel, 71, of Vienna, W.Va., have all pleaded guilty to their roles in Webb's scheme and are awaiting sentencing.

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  • whatelseisnew Jul 11, 10:09 a.m.

    "The group is accused of using the buyers' credit to obtain the loans in exchange for a kickback and a promise that rental income from the properties would pay the mortgages and the buyers would never pay a cent."

    So I assume since the buyers participated in the fraud they will also face charges? By the way, when can we expect to see Congress arrested for the ongoing ponzi schemes they operate?

  • TeaBagOnLove Jul 11, 8:23 a.m.

    This is not even the tip of the iceberg. With the number of guilty pleas entered so far, there are more players in this game.

    Stay tuned.

  • dsdaughtry Jul 10, 5:58 p.m.

    straw buyer = ponzi scheme

  • beachboater Jul 10, 4:33 p.m.

    Talking about Government Regulation!!!!!! I've been involved in 3 separate cases before the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division over the years. In ALL THREE cases, the employer had to pay some back wages that should not have been owed, AND in every case ALL hourly employees had to take a pay CUT in order for their employer to comply with federal regulations.

    "I'm from the Gooberment and I'm here to help you." HA

  • samr Jul 10, 4:31 p.m.

    The government said to open up home lending to more borrowers and so banks and lenders did it in the riskiest ways that paid them the most money. Borrowers all across the credit spectrum consumed and comsumed. Evrybody had a had in it.

  • rachel Jul 10, 4:29 p.m.

    I see lots of posts on here blaming the customer or mortgagee-to a degree, they may be right-but-on the other hand- what about the mortgage companies that did in fact commit fraud-such as when BOA bought out Countrywide and all sorts of shenanigans went on- for example, BOA suddenly claiming Countrywide had "failed to take something out"-like property taxes or insurance and despite having documents from the county showing these paid, BOA added several hundred dollars to the mortgage etc-know people it happened to- granted, we should all just be sitting on a huge stack of cash to pay for any unexpected urgencies-but the reality is not always like that. I do think people should live below their means, not at or above.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 10, 4:07 p.m.

    So the got em a few, while the main guys are still walking around free, haven't paid any fine, and are getting outrageous raises. (even after a deal was made to limit those raise) and the goverment watch dog (getting a hugh salary off of tax payers) allowed it.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 10, 3:56 p.m.

    The lender that I had for my own now paid off mortgage did not engage in sub-prime lending and they not being one of the large banks were not forced into it by the Federal Government. Their loan failure rate was at far less than 1 percent, BECAUSE the government did not intrude and they practiced traditional sound lending policies. Right now the same Government is busy building another huge debacle with Student loans. The default rate on those loans is going to be huge and the absconders will get off scot free and once again the taxpayer will get it on the chin. AGAIN Government INTRUSION creating the problem.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 10, 3:52 p.m.

    It is so funny when people talk about FREE markets. WE DO NOT HAVE FREE MARKETS. Just today as an example, I wanted to change some coverage items of insurance. the insurance company can not sell me the policy I actually want because of STATE LAW. Coming soon the same thing for my Health Insurance because of FEDERAL law. that is NOT a FREE market. You "regulate" "regulate" regulate people, want all that garbage, then you complain that the costs go through the roof and in the END the regulations PROTECT NOTHING. Any person that defaulted on a LOAN is the problem, not the lender, not the bank, not the investment bank. No matter what the lending system might be, if people do not pay back the loans, that system will collapse. So let us hope we see some of the actual criminals get arrested.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 10, 3:44 p.m.

    "no comments from the conservative side? how's that free market working? too bad we don't have more regulation so that the big banks and the mortgage industry that caused the 2008 melt down aren't in jail also.."

    Sorry buddy but if you want to get to the source then you need to arrest people like Barney Franks and Dodd and many many others in Government that FORCED lenders into the sub-prime lending fiasco. Then under Clinton the wall between Banks and Investment banks was tore down. Lending practices before THE GOVERNMENT intruded were secure and safe and mutual funds based on mortgages used to be a very solid investment. This was not Free market at all, just another example of the destructive thinking of the left. Bush should have done more to correct it and for that he is partially to blame, but he had little support in Congress as good old Barney opined, there was nothing wrong. I am waiting to see homeowners that defrauded lenders arrested and members of Congress

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